5 Reasons To Build A Cloud Computing Strategy Now

Get In The Cloud

The majority of companies lack a cloud computing strategy, according to recent research from TPI, a sourcing data and advisory firm and a unit of Information Services Group.

According to a recent survey of roughly 140 global IT decision makers, TPI found that only five percent currently have a cloud computing strategy and only 20 percent have the resources to develop one. With that in mind, TPI has put together a list of five reasons every company needs to put together a cloud computing strategy now, before it's too late. For solution providers, these five cloud computing drivers can be a starting point for clients as you discuss their future in the cloud.

"Cloud Computing is widely seen as the next evolution of IT services, yet only a fraction of organizations have a strategy for dealing with it," said Kevin Smilie, Partner, TPI Cloud Computing Business Solutions. "Developing a plan to take advantage of this game-changing innovation in 2011 should be at the top of every CIO's agenda."

iPad Invasion

The Apple iPad touch-screen tablet has infiltrated corporate walls and its popularity continues to grow, giving Apple a massive revenue boost. The iPad has also illustrated how the rapid adoption of cloud computing by consumers is putting enterprise IT staffs on the spot. Executives and employees are captivated by the iPad and its ability to leverage the Web, or cloud, to access services and applications. They're so enamored that they attempt to use them inside the company for work purposes. TPI said IT shops need to build a cloud computing plan to avoid the potential risk and confusion created when users bring their iPads into the office and go around IT with their own ad-hoc implementations.

Cost Cutting

Is the economy recovering? It depends on who you ask. Some say yes, some say no. Either way, there is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the nation's economic climate, and that uncertainty is putting pressure on organizations to keep costs down and limit investments until business demand comes back in full force. According to TPI Research, the ability to more tightly manage IT spending is the No. 1 reason clients are eyeing cloud computing solutions. As the 2011 budget season kicks off, companies should be preparing to leverage the cloud to cut costs and capital expenses and better align future spending with value.

Prepare To Compare

Cloud computing is a pay-as-you-go service. But it still comes in several different flavors and it can be worthwhile to determine exactly how much an organization will pay and what services will be received. And different providers have different cloud pricing models and service level agreements. At the same time, public clouds, private clouds, hosted clouds and hybrid clouds are all different and determining which one to pick will take time. TPI advises to start now to figure out which cloud offerings are the best deal and start planning, researching and testing.

The Vendor Decision

Between recent mergers and acquisitions and a deluge of cloud computing offerings to hit the market, the vendor landscape has changed dramatically in a very short time. Both the vendor and service provider environments have shifted. TPI suggests that organizations should be plotting their cloud computing course now as a roadmap to help them navigate an increasingly cluttered landscape so they arrive at the right set of vendors and solutions for their cloud computing needs.

Don't Stop

A cloud computing strategy is a necessary stepping stone, but it's a marathon not a sprint. TPI said cloud computing only works as well as an organization manages it and requires an integrated IT Service Management system. To implement such a system, companies must plan proactively and think well in advance of implementation. According to TPI, migrating a service to the cloud is not the end, but the beginning.